"The Future of Ageing for Singapore" Roundtable

Friday Jun 14,2019 | Others


"Dream to make Singapore the model for ageing."

- Janice Chia, Founder & Managing Director, Ageing Asia Pte Ltd

With ambitions to achieve the vision of making Singapore the model for ageing, industry front-runners and experts gathered on 15 May 2019 at a private roundtable themed “The Future of Ageing for Singapore - Debunk, Discover, Innovate”, to discuss and identify the top five challenges in pushing the ageing agenda forward, covering areas including infrastructure, workforce, funding, policies, and services.

Jointly organised by the Shirin Fozdar Programme at SMU and the Ageing Asia Alliance, the discussion also covered the different types of local and overseas community care models in place and examined how technology and digitalisation can adapt to better caregiving services for the elderly.

Ageing Well, My Way

Pauline Ong, 74-year old Singapore-based retiree, started the roundtable by sharing on her personal life experience as a member of the silver community and to set the stage for the discussion.

“The surest thing of life is death. It’s a journey.
Where and how we lived will impact how we die.”

Pauline found her passion for museums when she relocated to London with her husband in her early twenties. She believes that everyone should start cultivating hobbies outside of work and building relationships with mentors or role models, as early as possible, instead of waiting for retirement to do so. Through the support of her friends and religious faith, she was able to overcome the difficult challenges that come with growing old, including the rollercoaster of emotions after the passing of her husband.

“We have to be comfortable with ourselves. I’m happy with my silver hair. I’m happy to be putting on weight.”

In addition to keeping active and forging strong relationships, Pauline also believes in staying current with the times, such as picking up the skills to use smartphones, mobile apps or even video editing.

Redefining Perspectives

Continuing the conversation on what ageing well entails, several participants concurred that the way in which employment is structured in Singapore, including retirement funds, could be stuck in an obsolete model that requires an update, to keep up with the shift of perspective towards a multi-stage life and longer lifespans of people.

Laurence Lien, Chairman of the Lien Foundation and Co-Founder & CEO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle, also mentioned that many people are retiring too early. He added that people will need to save up for the multiple career transitions as they continually seek to retool and recreate themselves to achieve their aspirational needs.

Read more about the roundtable in SMU News